Press Conference to be Held to Protect Mauna a Wākea
On Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, at noon in front of Hawaiʻi Hall at UH Mānoa, faculty, staff and students from various Oʻahu-based UH campuses will hold a press conference where they will affirm their commitment to steadfastly protect Mauna a Wākea and where they will call upon the UH President David Lassner, the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents and the TMT corporation to terminate any and all agreements for the construction of Thirty Meter Telescope on the summit of Mauna a Wākea.
Faculty and students will also urge the UH President and Board of Regents to reject the current proposed Mauna Kea Administrative Rules, which would restrict Native Hawaiian spiritual and customary practices and which would, in effect, criminalize those seeking to protect and sustain the mauna. Thus far, construction-related activity for the TMT has resulted in 57 arrests on Maunakea and have included UH faculty and staff and many community members.
“As the University community, we should oppose research that severely compromises the work already done to build an ethical relationship between the academy and our community in Hawaiʻi, and that undermines the UH goal to become a model Indigenous-serving institution,” said Political Science Department Chair, Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua. “We cannot send the message that arresting community, students and faculty is an acceptable cost of research.”
“The policy and practice of UH must begin to prioritize the protection of the Mauna’s natural and cultural resources, respect the protectors and Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners, and begin to heal the degradation that has already occurred.” said Hawaiian Studies Department Chair, Konia Freitas.
Students will bring attention to the numerous statements of opposition to the TMT since 2013 that have received no response from UH administration and will reaffirm their commitment to protect Mauna Kea from telescope construction.
Hawaiʻi Hall is located at Varney Circle next to the Queen Liliʻuokalani Center for Student Services. Parking is available for purchase in green marked stalls in Varney Circle and behind Kennedy Theatre or in the main parking structure off of Dole Street.